Unfettering the Mind: imagination, creative writing and the art of the historian

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    A cry in the night It was perhaps an hour later, or perhaps the following night, that I was once more wakened by the stammer of a tugboat’s engine, and now I seemed to hear beneath it a troubled, human cry. This time it was futile to hold the bedclothes against my ears; I could not escape a sense of responsibility (Hutchinson 1969: 9). Those are the opening words of a novel that has lurked in the depths of my consciousness ever since I first read it as an undergraduate around the start of the 1970s. In some quiet way, it has shaped my understanding of history, and now as I approach the end of my university career, still struggling with questions of historical justice and responsibility, I have found myself returning to it and rereading it, each time discovering something new in its pages. It provides, I think, a good starting point for some reflections about works that bring together the art of creative writing and the craft of the historian.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBearing Witness: Essays in Honour of Brij V. Lal
    Editors Doug Munro and Jack Corbett
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherANU Press
    Pages231-246 pp.
    ISBN (Print)9781760461218
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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